The Grand Island police officer who fatally shot a man armed with a knife Wednesday night is a 17-year veteran of the Grand Island Police Department.
The officer shot the suspect after he was assaulted with a knife, according to Grand Island police.
The suspect was a 29-year-old Hispanic male from Grand Island.
“The officer responded with lethal force, shooting the male suspect who was transported by ambulance and later pronounced dead,” says a GIPD news release.
The Grand Island police officer, who received knife wounds, remains hospitalized. It does not appear the injuries are life-threatening, police say. No names have been provided to the media.
Although the address hasn’t officially been released, it’s likely that the shooting occurred at 1520 N. St. Paul Road.
Police visited that address at 8:13 p.m. and at 9:02 p.m. On the second visit, the officer was assaulted with the knife.
The first visit was in reference to a disturbance. On that visit, police “didn’t find anyone and left,” said Police Capt. Jim Duering. On the second visit, police were assisted by the Hall County Sheriff’s Department.
Duering would not specify how many shots were fired.
Investigation into the case will be carried out by the South Central Area Law Enforcement Services (SCALES) agreement. Grand Island police say they are cooperating with what they expect to be a “thorough and independent investigation.”
“Our next step as an agency is to assist SCALES in their investigation in any way possible, while supporting our officers and members of our community,” says a news release.
“In order to protect the sanctity of the investigation, the officers involved, and the family of the deceased, further information will not be released by the Grand Island Police Department during the ongoing investigation,” says the release.
On Wednesday night, “The Sheriff’s Department played a big role in helping us cover calls for service and helping out on the scene until we could get SCALES there. So that was absolutely beneficial,” Duering said.
The case will go to a grand jury, says Hall County Attorney Marty Klein. Under Nebraska law, a grand jury must be called whenever someone dies while being apprehended or in the custody of law enforcement.
“SCALES conducts the investigation independent of our office,” Klein said. Hall County attorneys will be available to answer legal questions.
The SCALES team will “do an investigation into the facts surrounding the case — what happened — and then they will refer that information to my office, if they don’t have any questions,” Klein said.
Klein “or somebody from my office will present those facts to the grand jury,” he said. “They can ask my office to bring information or witnesses to them, and my office would do that.”
But ultimately, the grand jury will make “a determination as to whether charges should be filed against the officer or anybody else involved in the fact pattern,” Klein said.